The red fox population in the U.S. faces a struggle as it competes with coyotes for habitat.
Small and solitary, but fiesty
Unlike its canine relative the wolf, the nocturnal red fox prefers a life of seclusion to one of roaming in packs. Identified by reddish fur; a white chest, chin, and throat; and a long, bushy, white-tipped tail, the red fox usually weighs 7-15 pounds, is 15 inches high, and about 3 feet long. It can run as fast as 30 miles an hour and live to be about three years old, although it has been know to live as long as 12 years in captivity.
The red fox’s habitat lies in the wooded areas, prairies and farmland throughout Canada and the United States, except for the far northern parts of the continent. An omnivore, the red fox eats everything from fruits and grasses to birds, rabbits, rodents and insects. While it helps keep the rodent and rabbit population in check, it will go after farm poultry, too.
Before the collapse of the fur trade, the red fox’s fur was highly valued, and the red fox was heavily hunted. The fall of the fur trade and innovative fencing techniques used by farmers to protect their poultry have excluded the need to hunt and kill the red fox. Though the canine's population is improving throughout the United States, it still faces a struggle as it competes with coyotes for habitat.